Still fighting the weight loss battle?  Are you under doctor’s instructions to lose weight? If so, aside from exercising and watching your caloric intake, you might want to think about your fat intake. 

There is scientific evidence confirming the negative effects of unhealthy fats in a person’s diet. There is also evidence that a little bit of healthy fat in a person’s diet is essential for effective weight loss.  Why is that? It’s thought that consuming an adequate amount of fat may result in feeling more satiated. A little healthy fat slows the emptying of the stomach with the potential to keep you feeling full longer.  It makes sense that the less hungry you are, the less excess calories you’ll consume. 

Not All Fats are Equal

While all fats have the potential to curb appetites, attention should be made to what is termed good or healthy fat as opposed to bad or unhealthy fat. 

Good or Healthy Fat: Healthy fats include unsaturated fats that fit into three categories:  monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and Omega-3 fatty acids.  These fats can be instrumental in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol while boosting HDL (good) cholesterol.  These good fats are found in olive oil, nuts, seeds, cold-water fish, and avocados, to name a few. 

Bad or Unhealthy Fat:  Unhealthy fats include saturated and trans-unsaturated fats.  These fats can raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain. These fats are found in deep fried foods; commercially prepared cookies, pies, and donuts; and processed foods.

Adopt These Tips

To help you make the right choices where fats are concerned, follow these tips:

  • Read the product labels on packaged foods. If hydrogenated oil is listed in the first few ingredients, avoid the product.
  • Exchange some of the products in your pantry.  Have some good fats on hand to add to your diet. 
  • Keep consumption of all fats in moderation as all fats are heavy in calories.
  • Sauté meats or stir-fry vegetables in olive oil instead of butter or other oils.
  • Choose baking or broiling over frying.
  • Trim visible fat from meat, and remove skin from poultry.
  • Reconsider low-fat diets. Adding a little good fat into your diet may help you feel satisfied longer.

The rules of what’s good for you and what’s not continue to change as science advances. Staying vigilant, reading product labels, and making small modifications to your diet will always be required if you’re to reach your goal of avoiding disease and maintaining a healthy weight. 

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